(If you have something you think Montecito should know about, or wish to respond to something you read in the Journal, we want to hear from you. Please send all such correspondence to: Montecito Journal, Letters to the Editor, 1122 Coast Village Circle, Montecito, CA. 93108. You can also FAX such mail to: (805) 969-6654, or E-mail to tim@montecitojournal.net)

More on the Montecito Market

In response to the publishers note re: Montecito market (montecitojournal.net/archive/13/28/1219/): Who is the "we" that prays the old, steady, reliable etc market remains the same? It certainly is not me and most people I know. The market does not have to be transformed into a mega-market, but a serious upgrade is definitely in need. Three cheers for an upscale makeover....

Christine

Montecito

(Ed. note: Montecito Village Grocery is a private business; no doubt it could be run more efficiently, as could Montecito Journal. I guess we simply want to point out that it is those quirks, inconsistencies, and crazy idiosyncrasies of individually owned businesses that make a village, town, city, or community worth living in. Stores like Montecito Village Grocery aren’t invented in some corporate think tank. There are no “Human Resources” committees, no “Personality Patrols” out to ensure employees pretend they care about the customer as the company raises prices aggressively; it’s just a conglomeration of individuals who know Montecito needs a market. The owners are merely trying to make the best of it and enjoy life along the way. And we like that, as imperfect as it may be. – TLB)

Quality not Convenience

Regarding the Montecito Village Grocery, I don’t want an “upscale” anything anymore than TLB does.

I do think that this community needs a clean, well-organized market that supplies the best produce available.

We should want to go to this market because it is of high quality, not merely because it is convenient.

Daphne Moore

Montecito

(Ed. note: Fair enough; you make a good point – TLB)

Thanks from the Music Academy

As an active member of the Music Academy, I want to thank you for the excellent coverage you have been giving our worthy organization. Your coverage of our May Madness Sale indeed contributed greatly to the success of this venture. This year’s profits enabled the Auxiliary to fund two scholarships for this summer’s students.

We were also very pleased to have our incoming officers and new members noted in last week’s Journal. The Women’s Auxiliary Board and its members are required to donate many hours of volunteer service and we are pleased to have them receive this community recognition.

Your paper provides so many services for our community and we applaud you.

Sincerely,

Judith Mack, Vice-Chair

Women’s Auxiliary, Music Academy of the West

Growth Management

I take issue with Michael Jaffe’s article of last week (“What Wild & Crazy Growth?” – montecitojournal.net/archive/13/27/1201/).

His premise, in essence, was this: Since Montecito has experienced very little growth in recent years, there is no basis – much less a compelling need – for the growth management orientation of the Community Plan and its administration.

This same point applies, incidentally, to the City and County of Santa Barbara (at least the South Coast).

I submit he is wrong because the fact that we have been experiencing limited growth is due to the very existence of the staunch growth management posture of local government here, and the traditional attitude toward growth upon which it is based.

Consider the rampant growth, development and overbuilding in just about every other highly desirable locale you can think of (at least those without such growth-limiting regulatory apparatus). Over the years, I have asked developers why this area has not likewise developed, and what discourages them from pursuing development here. The answer is almost universally the same: because of the area’s reputation for making development a damned difficult undertaking.

I don’t know what Mr. Jaffe means exactly by the “rational, egalitarian, objective and democratic” process he recommends to replace what we currently have, but I do know that similar words, when used by such advocates, are code for “greasing the skids for development”.

Sorry, but I believe there are very good reasons to “continue our no/slow growth mutations to the existing community plan”, as well as to our City and County Plans.

In light of the increasing development pressures that are inevitable in places as desirable as this, I suggest we redouble our growth management resolves, and even reinforce those “mutations”.

Joe Rution

Santa Barbara

(Publisher’s Note: It is evident that in the last few years our growth management has slowly given way to developers and has added density to the city of Santa Barbara. The new mixed-use developments are examples of this. Growth management should be strict but clear. It’s those arbitrary and often unfair growth management decisions, we believe, that frustrate critics such as Mr. Jaffe. – TLB)

A Sheer Delight

From the editorial on the putative village facelift, to the editorial on the silly Blue Line with your wonderful idea of bikes instead of paint, to the letters on the Village market, to the ongoing ethanol discussion, to the superb essay on immigration by Randy Alcorn, it was everything a newspaper should be – readable, informative, relevant, and lively. A sheer delight.

Larry Lambert

Montecito

(Publisher’s Note: Gee thanks Larry. It’s not everyday we receive such praise! – TLB)

Unbridled Immigration

In response to Randy Alcorn’s piece “The High Cost of Illegal Immigration” (montecitojournal.net/archive/13/28/1223/):

I agree with you - the 'libertarians' have it all wrong; almost zero government and counting on people to exercise 'self-responsibility' is a gamble that rarely, if ever, works. You only have to look at recent experiments in privatization of services that should be government-run and 'faith-based' charity to see the results. Katrina and the occupation of Iraq with overpaid contractors and mercenaries come to mind.

Furthermore, you are correct that unbridled immigration is insanity – if only big businesses that are literally addicted to cheap labor from workers who can't demand even basic benefits would wake up and see what they're doing to the country they claim to love.

Incidentally, I've spoken with the people at Californians for Population Stabilization and they have virtually no position on stopping illegal immigration at the source – the large employers who insist on hiring undocumented workers. When they address that issue with serious and practical solutions, they'll have a position worth paying attention to.

Best regards,

Stephen Bonser

Santa Barbara

(Publisher’s Note: Our inability to enforce the simplest of laws is what has brought us to this point. Hence the words “illegal immigration.” They are here illegally; we have laws against this, yet very few states actually enforce this effectively. We don’t need more legislation against illegal immigration; it is illegal in the first place. Our problem has grown not because of “big business,” but because federal and state governments have chosen not to make immigration control a propriety. We have brought this problem on ourselves through leniency. – TLB)